“Cast off the dictatorship of the self,” says pope on Epiphany

Francis has encouraged people “not to let ourselves be imprisoned by those imaginary specters that stifle hope”

By Loup Besmond de Senneville

Pope Francis, who’s Christmas and New Year liturgical celebrations were severely curtailed by measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, has invited believers to put aside their “weariness and complaints”.

While celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on January 6 — still observed in Italy and some other parts of the world as the Feast of the Epiphany — the pope urged a small crowd of worshipers to reflect more deeply on the significance of the Magi.

He said their visit to the crib is an invitation to raise one’s gaze to “escape the bottleneck of a narrow way of seeing things”. “Cast off the dictatorship of the self,” says pope on Epiphany

Viewing problems and anxieties in a new way

Approximately 70 faithful and about 20 cardinals joined in the papal liturgy, as Italy is undergoing a new lockdown because of the pandemic. To worship the Lord, we first have to ‘lift up our eyes’. In other words, not to let ourselves be imprisoned by those imaginary specters that stifle hope, not to make our problems and difficulties the center of our lives,” Francis insisted. “This does not mean denying reality, or deluding ourselves into thinking that all is well,” he added. On the contrary, he encouraged people to view “problems and anxieties in a new way”.” When we lift up our eyes to God, life’s problems do not go away, no; instead we feel certain that the Lord grants us the strength to deal with them,” Francis said.

“With the passage of time, life’s trials and difficulties – experienced in faith – help to purify our hearts, making them humbler and thus more and more open to God,” the 84-year-old pope told his fellow worshipers.Read more at: https://international.la-croix.com/news/religion/cast-off-the-dictatorship-of-the-self-says-pope-on-epiphany/13590

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